NEIL ROBERTSON is on the verge of creating a piece of snooker history when he resumes his second round match with Mark Allen in the Dafabet World Championship on Monday.
Robertson, the world no.1 and Crucible champion in 2010, will carry a 9-7 lead over the Northern Irishman into the final session.
And Robertson needs one more century break to take his tally for the season to 100, having made two more – 100 and 137 – against Allen on Sunday.
Robertson has already shattered the seasonal record of 61 set by Judd Trump during the 2012/13 campaign. He came to the Crucible on 93 centuries and made four against Robbie Williams in the first round.
But Robertson’s main aim will be to win a second world title and he is not yet guaranteed a quarter-final place after a tough battle with Allen. The first session was split 4-4 before the Australian edged the evening.
Shaun Murphy resumed level at 4-4 with Marco Fu and stormed 8-4 ahead at the interval, making breaks of 67, 50 and 102. He had a great chance to lead 9-5 and guarantee an overnight lead but missed a black on 59 in the 14th frame and Fu stepped in with a 55 clearance to trail only 8-6.
Murphy shrugged this off by winning the next but Fu finished in style with a 136 total clearance to trail just 9-7 and set up a potentially thrilling denouement when the final session gets underway on Monday night.
Dominic Dale will return in the afternoon needing just one frame to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship for a second time – 14 years after his first appearance in the last eight – after improving his 7-1 first session lead over Crucible debutant Michael Wasley to 12-4.
Judd Trump retained his four frame lead over Ryan Day. Having begun the day 6-2 up, Trump ended it leading 10-6.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.